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Marching for Whom?

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The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Clarion Project.  

I am really glad that thousands and thousands of women marched across the West following a call to show solidarity with almost half of the global population.

But amidst of this pro-women procession, which was supposed to be talking about the whole of womankind¸ some women were forgotten. They were simply left behind by this march and nobody seemed to notice.

In one such solidarity rally, organized to protest President Donald Trump’s inauguration, I saw a number of headscarf-clad women putting on the U.S. flag as headscarf on the heads of the other participants mostly dressed in Western attire.

The sight was both absurd and cool for me at the same time. Cool because women from different belief systems were demonstrating empathy with their fellows who like to cover their heads while absurd because they cannot expect these scarf-clad fellows to come to their rescue on the issue of abortion or same-sex marriage. 

They can’t even expect their fellow protesters to take off their headscarves for one day in solidarity with any of the causes of these liberal women or with those of poor Muslim women who have the hijab or even the burqa imposed upon them by society or state.

There are many things which might be trivial or unknown in the West but are life or death questions for millions in many repressive countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Somalia and others.

Countless women are actually going through hell as sub-humans on the same planet, while a large number of their Western counterparts are allowed to march and protest for rights which might be basic, but the lack of which does not represent any life-threatening situation. 

These women are trying to put end to the guardian system in Saudi Arabia. They are challenging patriarchal norms by daring to take off the hijab in Iran and are being imprisoned for their ‘crimes.’

They are spurning the veil of so called honor which merely represents male dominance in the Muslim world at the expense of their lives. They are calling spade a spade in the face of the apologists who endorse the oppression of Muslim women as an alternative fact while being protected under Western laws.

It is not only ISIS that is exploiting women in the name of hard core religious restrictions.

Protesters wore the hijab in solidarity with their fellow citizens to question patriarchy in their country, while forgetting the fact that the hijab itself is a symbol of the same patriarchal structure across the East.

What surprises me the most is when I see people longing for the same culture to be introduced in the West!

My sorrow is that womankind should also be struggling to make a difference for their helpless fellows in a repressive world. The march was an awesome bid to make the world realize that women wantmore in terms of equality but ironically it neither represented the whole sum of womankind nor supported the Muslim women at large.

As for the reality check Western Muslims are not even a drop in the global Muslim population, yet they pose as if they represent the whole Muslim world and their problems are the real issues every person on planet is facing today.

I always see Western Muslims explaining how Islam has empowered the women with all their rights in a dignified way. They can give us thousands of references from Islam but are typically unable to show adequate practical demonstration of the phenomenon.

With all my heart and soul I stand unapologetically for those women who are suppressed and experiencing the horrors of male dominance in Muslim countries. 

Humanity is witnessing rising right-wing extremism across the globe. We have learnt through history that the wrong deeds or choices of a few lead to devastation for the whole planet leaving millions of corpses and a ravaged planet.

The future will be no different from our past if we fail to abandon our duplicity and unite for the real problems that our creed and the whole planet is facing today.

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